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Apr 052020
 
Virtual Everest 2020: Weekend Video Update April 5

During this Virtual Everest 2020 – Support the Sherpas project, I’m adding a new aspect of my coverage, a video report on most Sundays. I will recap the week and preview what we can expect coming up. If you have a question or topic you want addressed, let me know. Virtual Everest 2020 – Support the Sherpas is a joint project of Alan Arnette and several global guide companies. Our objective is to entertain Everest fans during the Coronavirus spring closure and raise money to help the Sherpas who are not working this spring. While there will be accurate historical continue reading

Apr 042020
 
Virtual Everest 2020: Flying at the Summit of Everest

Our Everest 2020 climbers are on their way this early April. A few teams are already trekking the Khumbu to Everest Base Camp while those climbing from the Tibet side are on the road. Zhangmu, a 6-hour drive from Kathmandu, used to be the border crossing from Nepal into Tibet, but after the 2015 earthquake, the city was so badly damaged that the crossing was moved to Gyirong, about 50 miles to the west. However, many teams today fly to Lhasa and drive to Chinese Base Camp (CBC) on a nicely paved road. Thankfully the runway repairs at Kathmandu’s Tribhuvan continue reading

Apr 032020
 
Virtual Everest 2020: Leaving Home

The end of March and beginning of April is an exciting time for Everest aspirants. Their duffle bags are packed, plane reservations confirmed, and training completed. All that’s left is to get to Kathmandu or Lhasa. Virtual Everest 2020 – Support the Sherpas is a joint project of Alan Arnette and several global guide companies. Our objective is to entertain Everest fans during the Coronavirus spring closure and raise money to help the Sherpas who are not working this spring. While there will be accurate historical references, this series is a work of fiction. Names, characters, and incidents either are products continue reading

Apr 022020
 
Virtual Everest 2020 - Support the Sherpas

Welcome to the kick-off of Virtual Everest 2020 – Support the Sherpas. As regular readers of my blog know due to fears over the Coronavirus, aka COVID-19, Nepal closed all climbing, including Everest, for the spring 2020 season. China, through the Tibet Mountaineering Association, closed all their mountains to foreigners, Chinese nationals will be allowed on Everest and a small team is planning their expedition starting in a few weeks. After 20 years of climbing or reporting on Everest, not covering it was going to leave a hole in my, and many other’s Spring. So I thought, why not cover continue reading

Mar 122020
 
Everest 2020: Was it Correct to Close Everest?

Follow Virtual Everest 2020 –  Support the Sherpas starting April 2, 2020 Now that word is spreading that both Nepal and China have closed the 2020 Spring Everest (and other mountains) season let’s talk about if this was the correct decision. For me, the answer is clearly yes. Climbing is a sport, it’s optional and it’s supposed to be fun. It’s also an industry, the Everest Industrial Complex has many layers and supports many families and livelihoods. For a small country like Nepal, trekking and climbing are the backbones of their tourism economy. But sometimes, the case is just too strong continue reading

Mar 122020
 
Everest 2020: Nepal Joins China and Closes Everest

Follow Virtual Everest 2020 –  Support the Sherpas starting April 2, 2020   Nepal has joined China in closing the spring climbing season on all mountains, including on Everest citing Covid-19 aka the Coronavirus. Nepali officials also decided to temporarily stop issuing on-arrival tourist visas to all countries through the end of April. Previously it only applied to eight countries with a large number of virus cases. According to this article in the Kathmandu Post, the leading Nepali operator, Seven Summits Treks had 60 clients signed up but six canceled just this week. Seven Summit Treks, the largest expedition operator in continue reading

Mar 112020
 
Everest 2020: China Closes Everest

Follow Virtual Everest 2020 –  Support the Sherpas starting April 2, 2020   According to operators running Everest expeditions on the China/Tibet side of Everest, they were notified today, March 11, 2020, that the China Tibet Mountaineering Association aka CTMA that all permits for the spring season are canceled due to the Coronavirus. Operators are reacting differently: Adrian Ballinger, founder of Alpenglow told me: China officially closed Everest for spring last night (I was notified via my CTMA contacts). I agree with the decision (my partners and Dr (Monica Pérez) were leaning towards canceling based on news of the past continue reading

Mar 092020
 
Everest 2020: A Month Go Checklist

Follow Virtual Everest 2020 –  Support the Sherpas starting April 2, 2020   Early March is an awkward time for aspiring Everest climbers. It is too late to make serious advancements in physical training and too early to eat what you want, assuming you will lose weight during the climb. Making serious gear changes is not advised nor is changing guide services. But there is still work to do! Other than persistent rumors, and maybe a last-minute rule change from Nepal or China, Not much will happen for the next few weeks as climbers are en route. Once they arrive continue reading

Mar 072020
 
Three Questions for Jost Kobuschh's Winter Everest West Ridge Attempt

I caught up with Jost Kobuschh and congratulated him on a fine effort. In review, he was attempting a winter, solo Everest climb on the rarely attempted West Ridge without supplemental oxygen and no Sherpa support. This exact style and the route had never been attempted or accomplished. The German alpinist tagged his high point at 7,329-meters/23,750-feet. He said before starting the expedition, he would be pleased to tag 8,000-meters so he got close. Well done by any measure. I asked him three questions and he generously replied: 1. Overall, how are you feeling – physically and emotionally? Emotionally its this time continue reading

Mar 022020
 
Nepal Begins to Address Risky Visitors due to Coronavirus Virus

Follow Virtual Everest 2020 –  Support the Sherpas starting April 2, 2020   Nepali officials are adding visa steps for travelers from five countries experiencing the highest levels of the Coronavirus. The usual process for most visitors is to obtain a visa at the airport once they arrive. Now visitors from five countries, China, Iran, Italy, Korea, and Japan must get their visas before arriving in Nepal. Note, this does not stop visitors from coming to Nepal, only adds an additional step before leaving their home country. Also, by omission, it doesn’t impact any other country.   Confusion Conflicts with continue reading